The Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) was established as a national research centre in 1981. The operations of the TDRC Board are guided by the provisions of the TDRC Act No. 31 of 1982. The members of the TDRC board are appointed by the Minister of Health. The TDRC Board provides strategic leadership to the TDRC management. The Chairman of the board is the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health. The Director, appointed by the Board, is the Executive Officer of the TDRC and is responsible for the administration of TDRC. The Director is assisted by the Deputy Director and Board Secretary who is also appointed by the TDRC Board. There are three scientific departments: Biomedical Sciences, Public Health and Epidemiology, and Clinical Sciences.
The administrative support department is comprised of Accounts, Transport, Purchasing and Supply, Stores, Personnel and Security Units and is headed by Board Secretary. The Biomedical Sciences Department undertake basic science research and provide laboratory support to research activities in the Clinical Sciences Department and Public Health and Epidemiology Department.
Since its establishment in 1981, TDRC has gone through transformation that have seen an expanded research mandate. In recent years, the Centre has had to face the challenges of policy change as a result of health sector reform in the country.The Centre has embraced these changes positively and seeks to adapt itself to be consistent and relevant to the health needs of the day, not only in Zambia but also in Africa as a whole. The Centre seeks to position its activities so as to contribute effectively to the generation of evidence for disease prevention and control.